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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for those of you who use tower speakers with an AVR for both HT and music.


I have a Pioneer Elite 45 and the lowest crossover point is 50Hz. If you have full range speakers that are capable of 20-30Hz how do you get the benefit of this (for music) when the AVR is cutting them off at 50Hz? The "Direct" feature on the Pioneer does not defeat the crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to ask - do other similar AVRs let you easily defeat the crossover for music?
 

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One thing you may want to keep in mind is, extending the bass limit is NOT the only benefit of a subwoofer. Perhaps even more importantly, a sub will "off-load" the R/L mains (and the amps) from the very power-hungry duty of reproducing the low frequencies. Just off-loading the bass power may improve the sound quality of the main L/R considerably, with much less distortion. Plus, the bass reproduction requires lots of cone swing for the main woofers that inevitably have a less-than-perfect excursion linearity. Higher frequency signals have to be folded on top of this huge cone swing by the bass, inevitably resulting in intermodulation distortions.


I experimented with various sub crossover frequencies on my combination of the 45TX, the Hales floorstanders (which can play down to 30Hz), and the Hsu sub. I concluded, somewhat unexpectedly, the THX default 80Hz produces the best results also in the 2.1 stereo mode.


Do a favor for your speakers by doing similar experiments! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sushi, thanks for the reply. I also have a powered sub and agree with your comments - but what is the advantage of a tower that can play down to your 30Hz over a monitor (in the same line that usually has the same mid/tweeter) if you cross over at 80Hz? I'm assuming that other AVRs may have a defeatable crossover so tower users can listen to them full range for music - and then switch on the subs internal crossover to the point that their mains roll off - say 30 Hz. Yes??
 

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I have my CD player hooked up to the multichannel input and the CD input on the 45TX. This way I can send the full signal to my main speakers, but at higher volumes I would go with Sushis recommendation.
 

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Mit07,


I feel your pain. I too am sort of torn between the tower/bookshelf issue, but alas, I have not yet laid the cash on either. I still think I want towers though.


All of my "knowledge" to date is from what I've read. I'll summarize the pros/cons below:


Pro Towers:

1) Crossovers are not a cliff where EVERYTHING below that point gets lopped off. The THX spec is at 24 dB/octave, but many receivers only roll off at 12 dB/octave. Even at the THX spec (80 Hz and 24 dB/oct), you are "ONLY" down 24 dB at 40 Hz. That amount of energy can be noticed on speakers with a fuller range response. Tower speakers are FLAT to below the cutoff on your receiver.


2) Multi-channel audio (SACD and DVD-A) players rarely have bass management capabilities built-in. Having fuller-range speakers makes this much less of an issue.


3) Stability of the speaker is generally better for towers than for bookshelves on stands.


4) Cost difference of towers vs bookshelves + decent stands is not that great.


5) Looks. There is nothing more impressive than a nice big set of tower speakers!



Pro Bookshelves:

1) Smaller, less invasive to a room

2) Usually provides better imaging than a similar pair of floorstanders due to the fact there is less cabinet resonance to get in the way.

3) Speakers themselves cost less for similar sound quality, especially if you don't require stands.

4) Easier to move around if you need to do that frequently.
 

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Quote:
but what is the advantage of a tower that can play down to your 30Hz over a monitor (in the same line that usually has the same mid/tweeter) if you cross over at 80Hz?
A floorstanding speaker with larger drivers and a larger cabinet can still play louder with less distortions in general, especially in a larger room, even if you cross it over at a relatively high frequency such as 80Hz. A smaller bookshelf speaker will start to show a sign of "strain" at a lower peak level of sound. But if the room is smaller and your listening volume is relatively low, a pair of bookshelfs plus a sub will do everything just fine. Also, ssabin has covered lots of other aspects...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Juan - which of those imputs (multichannel, CD) send the full range to the main speakers?


Sushi, ssabin, others - is is common for an AVR to not have a "Direct" type feature that bypasses the crossover? Do other AVRs in the same price range of the Pioneer Elite 45 have this feature - like the Denon 3803, etc.?
 

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mit07, it sounds to me like you have the subwoofer set to PLUS in the setup menu. if the speakers are set to LARGE and the sub to YES, you should be able to use DIRECT mode without output to the subwoofer. When you are in DIRECT mode, the mains are still receiving full signal, but the bass is also being reproduced by the subwoofer if the sub is set to PLUS.
 

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Yes, extensing what coach just said, if you really want to use the entire frequency range that your front speakers are capable of, try the following:


(1) Set the front speakers as LARGE, which will bypass the receiver's high-pass crossover for the fronts.


(2) Set the sub to PLUS, which makes the receiver to engage the sub on top of the full-range-driven fronts.


(3) Set the sub crossover on the 45TX to 200Hz, so that the receiver crossover is effectively bypassed.


(4) Then set the hardware crossover on the sub at your desired frequency such as 40Hz.


This setup will supply a full-range signal to your front speakers, and drive the sub only below 40Hz (or whatever frequency you choose) on top of it.
 

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Mit07,


all of the multichannel inputs will take a full signal.
 

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Sushi, Coach, I to have a 45tx and I have just bought a powered sub for my setup. In order to get my sub to work with music and cable/sat broadcast I have to set the sub on my 45 to PLUS to get anything out of my sub. Is this the same story for you?


I have 'digm Studio 40's, 20's, ADP's, CC and a Sony sawm500 with mod(I know, I know, I live in an apartment so no SVS). I have my settings all set to large except the SB that is X2small. Everything else is set to large and the crossover I toggle between 80hz, 100hz and 150hz. I find 150 is the point where I can notice the sub's location more but not all the time. Plus it gives the 40's a lil boost. Its actually a very good sub(for the money) after the mod and blends perfectly to my setup, after some tweaking(of course).


I just got this sub 4 days ago and still fiddling with it, but the only way I seem to get any use out of it for 2 channel music or TV is when its on PLUS. Is this just because everything else is set to large? Do I need to set everything to SMALL and the sub to ON to get it working for 2 channel/TV? Its not like I mind having it set to PLUS, but it had me worried for a while.


Thanks for the help, Matt
 

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Quote:
I to have a 45tx and I have just bought a powered sub for my setup. In order to get my sub to work with music and cable/sat broadcast I have to set the sub on my 45 to PLUS to get anything out of my sub. Is this the same story for you?
No, my sub is always engaged with the ON setting, because I set all speakers as SMALL. When your main speakers are set as LARGE, the receiver will send all the bass signal straight to the main speakers, not to the sub. This is unless the sub is set to PLUS (the bass is sent both to the mains and to the sub), or you are listening to a 5.1 source containing the LFE channel, which is always sent to the sub.


I suggest you experiment with the SMALL settings, which may well improve the overall sound, even if your main speakers are full-range models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I appreciate all your suggestions, however, I have come to the conclusion that I am not satisfied with the Pioneer Elite 45 for use with tower speakers.


If you set the mains (towers) to large you need to set the sub to plus. If you do this you get duplicate bass.


If you set the mains (towers) to small you cannot bypass the internal Pioneer crossover - set at 50, 80, 100Hz, etc. The tower speakers that are capable of flat response down to 30Hz or whatever are not being utilized.


The ideal solution would be a defeatable crossover for music listening.


Does anyone know if other ARV's (comparable to the Pioneer Elite 45) have this feature?
 

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What?

Quote:
The ideal solution would be a defeatable crossover for music listening.
Listen to music in direct mode. Analog in/Analog out.
Quote:
If you set the mains (towers) to large you need to set the sub to plus. If you do this you get duplicate bass.
Wrong again, You can set the mains to (large) and the sub to (on). not setting the sub to plus = no duplicate bass.


Remember, low pass crossovers are not brick wall filters. You will be getting plenty of energy at 30hz with the crossover set at 50hz. I have never heard anyone tell me they need a crossover setting lower than 50 Hz.
 

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Milt07,


Have you tried exactly what I suggested above, utilizing the subwoofer's own crossover? Besides, I agree with Tom's last paragraph. Do experiment and listen to, before you jump on to a conclusion just by assuming things in your head. The design engineers at Pioneer and other receiver makers know what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tom - I think you need to read the entire post to understand the issue I have with the Elite 45. "Direct" mode with the Pioneer still utilizes the bass management and the selected crossover. Yes - you can set the mains to large and the sub to on (not plus) to avoid duplicate bass - the point I am making is that I want to use the sub for under 50Hz.


Sushi - yes, I have experiemented extensively with the Elite 45. With your suggestion - set mains to large, sub to plus, utilize the subs crossover - works ok for the mains - unfortunately it doesn't work for the surrounds if they are bookshelf and you want a higher crossover than what you have for the mains.


I do like the Elite 45 - it is a great piece of equipment. BUT - it needs a true "Direct" mode. This would be a nice feature for true 2 channel listening.
 

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Quote:
BUT - it needs a true "Direct" mode. This would be a nice feature for true 2 channel listening.
Simple, just turn off the sub;)
 

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My 45 does not do bass management on Analog sources in Direct mode. Only when I use the digital output will it employ bass management.

Quote:
unfortunately it doesn't work for the surrounds if they are bookshelf and you want a higher crossover than what you have for the mains.
There is a reason why pioneer and many other manufactures don't allow you to adjust different crossover points for different speakers. It will cause more room problems and phase issues than it would be worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
StereoMAdMAn - please read the entire post - I WANT to use the sub for under 30Hz.


Tom - my dealer told me that the Elite 45 utilized the internal crossover with both digital and analog connections. I called Pioneer and they told me the same thing. The owners manual is not clear on this point. I will hook up some analog cables and test it.


I don't want to utilize a different crossover for all speakers in HT - idealy I would cross over at the THX 80Hz recommendation. For 2-channel stereo I want to utilize a 30Hz crossover. The only solution seems to be to put all speakers on small for HT and the Elite 45 bass management at 80Hz and defeat the subs crossover. For analog 2-channel - if this does NOT utilize the Elite 45 bass management - I would need to change the sub from the crossover defeat to an internal sub crossover of 30Hz. The only "problem" is having to change the switches on the sub every time I change from HT to music. Maybe not a big problem for some - but my sub is in a difficult place to get access to.
 
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